Small Business Web Design

website tips for small business


Build Presence

Web Design is much more than some local designer sitting at her computer and hammering out code till it looks like a bunch of colorful boxes with a logo. Your website designer needs to know how to wield a bunch of different tools before they can deliver a completed website that will add to your success.

Just how complicated your web design is going to be depends on what your competition is doing with their website. A competitive analysis of your top competition is the first step in any competent website design process.

Once you know your competitors strategy you’ll have a clear idea of web design and marketing costs

This knowledge allows you to catch-up & move ahead of your competitors. There’s no need to be afraid of doing a web audit of your nearest competition, it’s neither time-consuming nor expensive but without it you risk wasting both time and money.

Call Us Today (603) 397-3546 for more information and to get a web audit started. There is nothing as comforting as having a detailed map to refer to as you navigate the twists and turns of the web.


 A More In Depth Look At Web Design

The competent person behind today’s web design has a broad set of skills and a deep understanding of how best to get the production rolling and once the site is completed how to maintain your website.

Web Design includes skill in UID (user Interface design), copy-writing, SEO (search engine optimization), graphic design, domain name selection, coding and more. If your designer does not have the expertise or skills needed they will know just who to call, to bring them aboard to create the complete website design team.

Web design is a bit like putting together a puzzle of many pieces. The team needs to take into account the many different types of computers and web browsers that will be used by your customers to access your new website. It’s important that everyone coming to your website has a rich and error free experience and that they find what they are looking for quickly. Seven seconds is all the time the user takes to decide if they want to stay on your website or leave for greener pastures. Your team needs to take both time and visual cues into account as they design your site.

 First and foremost you want the web page to encourage interactivity from the user.

The main job of a website is to be a container of information about your business or nonprofit, presenting information that engages your users. No matter what your site contains you want the user to take action.

Most websites today are based on HTML (hypertext markup language) or XHTML (extensible hypertext markup language). Both of these markup styles tell the web browsers how to show the text and pictures on a web pages so it looks nicely formatted. Neither HTML OF XHTML is complicated to learn but with backend software like WordPress or Drupal you won’t need to really learn much at all. Your web designer can create a template on top of a CMS (content management system) that makes updating and editing a website as easy as using a word processor.

Once your web designer and you have settled on the graphical look and feel of the site then all the heavy lifting in the backend can start to come together. Many things like color in web design outside of pictures resides in something called CSS or Cascading Style Sheets, this is a listing that tells browsers how to render fonts, margins, links, passing, paragraphs, colo and anything much more. The CSS sheet is separate from the structure markup and this makes it easier to tweak and faster to load. You can read more about CSS here: Understanding CSS & Tables in Web Design


Why Can’t It All Just Work?

This is a really good question but, unfortunately there is not an equally good answer when it comes to web design. It seems everyone wants you to use their version of web technology and for the most part they don’t really care if (A) works with (B). Your web designer has to take into account how each web browser is going to render the HTML, JavaScript, Flash, Video and other bells and whistles you want on your web page. Microsoft, Google and Firefox have created 3 really great browsers but each of them shows your content just a little bit different, so what works in one browser just might not work exactly the same in another browser. This is a dilemma for the person you’ve hired.

Another set of dilemmas is making sure your website is seen and liked by the search engines. If you want people to visiting your website and buy your products and services you’ll want to show up on the first couple of pages in the search results. Google and Bing are the two heavyweights in the search arena at the moment but there are other search alternatives clawing their way toward the top. Your design team needs to build your web presence so that the search engines can understand what you are trying to say and if they understand you’ll have a chance of making it onto the first couple of pages of search results in your niche.

Part of the web design process includes helping you to decide what and how to own a domain name. This is important for a couple of reasons, first you want something memorable that your customers can easily refer back to, Second a well thought out name can in some insistence’s help with search engine rankings and get your more exposure.

Another very important part of the design process is understanding what is web hosting and how to go about choosing a hosting service that is just right for you. Cost, performance and reliability are all factors that need to be considered before you sign on the dotted line. Situating your website with a host service that can’t do the job makes even the best designed website just  cry in the wilderness.

This is by no means the last word on web design but I hope it gives you some knowledge to take with you when you interview either a web firm or a single contractor for the important job of putting the face of your business onto the World Wide Web. For a few more ideas about the process and some easy to follow tips before starting take a look at Tips for Success in Building a Website. I think you just may find some things you can use and become even better prepared to hire just the right person to do the job…   Good Luck.




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